Hong Kong Soccer Sevens; Keeping Busy…

No One Recognized Our Queretaro FC Jerseys...

Life continues to keep on keepin’ on, we’re well settled into our routine, Liz especially since Anderson’s schedule is still a bit chaotic as he slowly works his way up to full-time teaching hours.  He’s over 2/3 of the way there, so soon enough!

The Hong Kong Football Club Hosted The Tournament

Had a busy weekend at The Hong Kong Soccer Sevens, a unique football tournament featuring a variety of international teams playing games with seven men a side and seven-minute halves.  Teams came from all over the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, England, Holland, Ireland, and Argentina.  There were two divisions: older/former professional players played in the Masters competition, while for the Main tournament international teams sent development squads while local professional teams were also represented.  Top-notch clubs included Liverpool, Ajax, Aston Villa, Celtic, Rangers, Boca Juniors, the Hong Kong U-18 and U-21 teams, however the teams that emerged victorious, surprisingly mostly came from Hong Kong!  Local team Citizen won the runners-up trophy, while the overall championship went to Kitchee, the current champions of the Hong Kong professional league.

Kitchee Scoring One Of Their Many Goals

For the Masters division, Top Class, a squad of former Hong Kong pros, edged out the Citibank All-Stars who were comprised of former English Premiere League players.  We caught much of the full weekend of soccer, which was quite fun and included some impressive goals.  Given the format of the tournament, a 14-minute game might easily feature four or more goals, and if things were tied then there was a 4 vs. 4 “golden goal” period, which meant that games rarely went to penalty kicks.  A great event, and we’ll definitely be going back next year.

HKFC Stadium Is Right In The Urban Jungle

In more personal sporting news, here’s the moment of zen, a collage of us honing our badminton skills at a nearby park:

We're So Good We Don't Need A Net!

Hope all’s well,

Peace

A&E

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En-CYCLO-Pedia Listing

A Muddy Anniversary Border-Crossing (Cambodia -> Vietnam)

We’ve just been added to the En-CYCLO-Pedia, kindly maintained by the bicycle-lovers at TravellingTwo.com, which features the cycling exploits of like-minded folk.  Hope you enjoy our appropriately-titled entry, Anderson & Elizabeth.  Feel free to check out the other cyclists, some of their efforts make our 3000km through SE Asia pale in comparison!

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Buddha’s B-Day In Hong Kong

Bruce Lee, Too Awesome Not To Feature... Sorry Buddha

So today was (is) Buddha’s Birthday, a national holiday here in Hong Kong as it is throughout much of Asia.  Initially we’d planned on attending the infamous Cheung Chau Bun Festival, but this morning we (consciously 🙂 decided we’d rather not spend the whole day (from 9am to past midnight) on a crammed island waiting to watch a dozen people race up an artificial tower to pull down edible buns.  We know, sounds epic – we promise we’ll do it next year – just felt like having a low-key day instead.

Courtyard Of Chi Lin Nunnery

Instead we went to the neighborhood of Diamond Hill, primarily to see the Chi Lin Nunnery, but also for the neighboring Nan Lian Garden.  Both are quite modern but with an ancient appearance, well-maintained and at least today were well-populated.  The nunnery is known both for its Tang Dynasty-inspired architecture and its vegetarian dim-sum, both of which we sampled.  Former was better than the latter, but that’s not to knock on the food: it was still delicious they just didn’t actually have that many options – perhaps due to the holiday crowds.

Dragons & Flowers

Had the privilege of bowing to and then washing a tiny Buddha statue inside the main hall, a ritual the nunnery apparently offers to all visitors.  Wasn’t allowed to take an explanatory photo, but basically there’s a gold-colored Buddha, surrounded by a plastic shield, with a water fountain setup behind him, and then up front is a trigger to be pressed in between a pair of prayers.  In addition to having plosive power, the scene evoked more than reverential emotions alone, but at least all the statuary is kept constantly clean!

The Center Pond At Nan Lian Gardens

As for the garden, it was less crowded, immaculately groomed, and full of peace, quiet, and nature.  Artificial ponds, structures, trees, and rocks form most of the landscaped park, which is run by the nunnery and includes its gift-shop and upscale tea-room as well as an exhibition hall that featured some pretty impressive paintings and recreations from the Mogao Caves in north-west China.  If you’ve got time, check out these cool pictures from The Getty Conservation Institute!

The Tram Runs Only A Block From Our Apartment

Otherwise we’ve been busy working, cooking, and relaxing, living life here in HK.  Our friend Zoe visited us from Korea last week (her photos are viewable on Facebook of ‘our life’), which meant we did a bit more touristing than usual.  Checked out some new shopping districts, the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui East, and ate plenty of delicious food.

View From Dragon's Back, A Hiking Trail Near Chai Wan

Also gone hiking a few times, as well as walking along the nearby Aldrich Bay Promenade.  Our local Indian restaurant, Ashoka, is still treating us well, as is a nearby Chinese place and the neighborhood’s Taiwanese dumpling house – plenty of good eats in Sai Wan Ho, and we’ve hardly tried any of them yet…

We’ll be trying to post more regularly now that we are fully settled in, work is becoming routine in an enjoyable way, and we’re finding a good balance in our life.  Here’s a recent photo of us in our living room, short hair for both of us:

In Our Living Room

Peace

A&E

 

Moment of zen:

Wedding Photos & Fishermen In Shek O

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New Dub Reggae Music Mix – The Groove Thief Presents: Stepping Between Reggae & Dub Vol. II

 

The Groove Thief presents: Stepping Between Reggae & Dub Vol. II

 

Freshly prepared for your listening pleasure by Anderson!
The Groove Thief presents: Stepping Between Reggae & Dub Vol. II

It’s a fresh mix of reggae and dub, with plenty of massive bass. Past and future collide, with original dub cuts and remixed legends giving way to 8-bit beats, hip-hop, and dubstep. Keeping it eclectic, The Groove Thief covers a lot of musical territory in this 16-track 30-minute mix.

1. Clouds – Elders
2. Ancient Astronauts – Calvert Street Rock
3. Burning Spear – Slavery Days
4. Dub Kweli – Your Gospel
5. Alborosie – Herbalist (Numa Crew Remix)
6. Bob Marley – Sun Is Shining (DJ Dolores Remix)
7. Job2Do – Doo Ter Tum
8. Zap Pow – Last War
9. Collie Buddz – Come Around (Remix feat. B-Real & Shaggy)
10. Soom T – Boom Shiva
11. Rusko – Lions Paw
12. The Upsetters – Washroom Skank (Bill Laswell Version)
13. Disrupt – Berzerk Dub
14. King Tubby – King Tubby’s Conversation Dub
15. Matty G – Turf W*rs
16. Clouds – Elders

 

Hope you enjoy it!!

Peace

A&E

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Better Late Than Never: Cycling Trip; Food Photos

A Bridge Near Sha Tin, In The New Territories

As the title indicates, this post would’ve appeared almost a week ago in a perfect world, but business and business have kept us preoccupied.  We are mostly settled into our new apartment in Sai Wan Ho, having acquired most of the home furnishings we need.  Got a nice new refrigerator, a new but cheap (and a tad noisy) washing machine, and a mattress pad is sufficing for a bed for at least the time being.  Found a free dresser in the expat classifieds, and we’ve made liberal use of all the cheap containers at the Japan Home Centre.  Cheap fold-up kitchen table (Carcassonne-tested) and some donated chairs means we are only in the hunt for a couch to complete our living room.  Things are either a bit ghetto-fabulous or functionally efficient…

Jobs are going well, Liz has settled into things at Tutor Time and a shorter commute has improved that aspect of her day significantly.  Anderson will hopefully be moving to full-time at ME English, teaching mostly adult conversation classes, by the beginning of May, though he will also continue to juggle teaching after-school cooking classes with primary students at ActiveKids for at least a couple of months.

Getting Around Hong Kong Is Usually Easy, And Signposted

Last weekend was quite busy, as we crammed in a brief trip to Macau (for visa purposes) Saturday evening before going on a Sunday cycling trip, from Tai Wai to Tai Po.  Main Macau highlight was eating Portuguese food…

Freshly Steamed Clams. We Got Two Orders.

….though we’ll surely go back to the ‘Vegas of the East’ later during our time here in Hong Kong.  As for the bicycle ride, each way was about 2 hours – slow and leisurely since it was a fun get-together organized by Anderson’s school.

Starting Out From Tai Wai

Teachers and students and friends/family chatted in English during the ride, which was mostly along the waterfront, and we stopped for a nice and cheap Chinese lunch along the way.  Bike seats were a tad uncomfortable, but otherwise a great day and fun to hang out with students outside of the classroom and get some exercise as well!

View From The Cycling Path, Of Tolo Harbour

We’ve been doing a bit of our unique fusion-cooking now that we’ve got a proper kitchen (and a proper fridge to hold ingredients)… here’s some of our latest productions:

Celebrating Our First Sunday Brunch In Our New Apartment

The Salad & Fresh Bread Were Better Than The Mystery-Meat Stir-Fry (Lesson Learnt)

Our Style Of Chinese: Dumplings & Fresh Mulberries

If Mexican Can Be Made, We Will Make It!

Last One: Breaking In Our Rice Cooker With A Thai-Influenced Curry

Thankfully, given all that food, Hong Kong is surprisingly full of ways to stay active, and a large Leisure & Cultural Serviced Department of the government manages a vast array of parks, sports centres, performing arts centres, etc.  This means we have within easy walking distance a Civic Centre that shows plays and cultural performances, two different sports centres: Sai Wan Ho & Island East (featuring between them badminton, basketball, squash, and table tennis facilities, as well as a fitness room, indoor swimming pool, golf simulators, lawn bowling, etc.), and a network of mostly-connected pedestrian-only parks with workout equipment and acupressure walking-paths.  There’s also an extensive promenade along the waterfront, which is about four blocks away:

A Fisherman, Chinese Junks & High-Rise Apartments Along The Grand Promenade

A Flag Waves Between Us & The Kowloon-Side

And of course, how could we forget such great moments of zen?

Anderson Shamelessly Shills Peace & Larabars. Don't Mind The Giant Egg.

Illegal Laundry Drying

Peace, and thanks for reading,

A&E

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